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WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY / INDUSTRY

Ouch! Fitbit's Rash Attack

By Oonagh Reidy | Wednesday | 15/01/2014

Let the Force (not) be with you. Fitbit Force users complain of rash and skin irritations

The popular wearable fitness wrist band, Fitbit Force, is said to be causing owners major skin irritations, hives and blisters. Force, Fitbit's US$129 smart watch, tells users stuff like how many km's walked, calories burned in real time and sleep patterns, meaning many users wear it 24-7.   

"The newest #fitbit Force burned my arm," Force owner Doug MacLeod tweeted. 

Another disgruntled user told The Consumerist "considering I have medical expenses resulting from treatment, and the fact that healing is slow-going and may scar me, Fitbit has done nothing to show me that they care for their customers' loyalty." 

Force, is currently not on sale in Oz, but is due to hit later this year retailing at A$169.  There are "very few" Aussie consumers who ordered direct from the US, FitBit Oz spokesperson told Smarthouse. 

 "We're not sure if it will be an issue by the time it arrives here" but confirmed its in discussions with the US.

Any Aussies consumers affected won't be covered by local warranty and will have to return the smart band to the US, although orders made via Fitbit online are covered.   



Image: The Consumerist
Fitbit US is offering a refund or replacement to affected users. 

The company released a statement, confirming the issue: 

We are looking into reports from a very limited number of Fitbit Force users who have been experiencing skin irritation, possibly as a result of an allergy to nickel, an element of surgical-grade stainless steel used in the device. 

"We are sorry that even a few consumers have experienced these problems and assure you that we are looking at ways to modify the product so that anyone can wear the Fitbit Force comfortably. We will continue to update our customers with the latest information."

Wearable gadgets is big news in the tech world right now, with everyone from Samsung, Sony (an early entrant) and now, LG all offering wearable devices from smart bands to headphones. 

Fitbit advises consumers experiencing any irritation discontinue using the product and contact Fitbit at force@fitbit.com 

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